The Centre Excellence in Africa (EXAF) at EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne) was created in 2020, with the aim of promoting digital technologies and academic excellence throughout the African continent through training, innovation and cutting-edge scientific research.
Through its Digital Education pillar, the EXAF initiative aims to offer support in the form of expertise and funding to promote the sustainable integration of digital education in African universities. This pillar was designed by Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P) and the EPFL under the EXAF initiative.
Forty-four (44) universities from nineteen (19) countries across Africa responded to the EXAF call for proposals in 2020; and based on the quality and relevance of their projects, the six (6) African universities were selected, namely:
- Moi University, Eldoret, Kenya
- The Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology, Arusha, Tanzania
- Kabale University, Kabale, Uganda
- University of Abuja, Abuja, Nigeria
- École Supérieure Multinationale des Télécommunications, Dakar, Sénégal
- Université Nangui Abrogoua, Abidjan, Ivory Coast
Moi University was the only Kenyan University out of the six (6) Universities in Africa that was selected for the establishment of the Centre of Competence in Digital Education (C-CoDE) in its main campus in Eldoret. The C-CoDE project at Moi University is coordinated by the Institute of Open and Distance Learning (IODL).
The EXAF Centre is working closely with each partner university to accommodate their specific context and ensure they benefit from the programme. Between 2021 and 2022, the EXAF Centre has been working with all six (6) universities to:
- Construct a studio with the necessary multimedia equipment and IT infrastructure to produce quality digital educational content such as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and Open Educational Resources (OER).
- Train two (2) technicians in the operation of the production studio
- Train three (3) resident experts in instructional design who will act as associate trainers for their C-CoDE, and
- Train an initial cohort of thirty (30) lecturers/professors in pedagogical aspects of digital education
Since November 2021 to present, Moi University has held an International Training Workshop, undertaken instructional design training and capacity-building workshops in digital education for three (3) resident experts, and thirty (30) faculty members have undergone further training. The Construction of C-CoDE project at Moi university is underway and it will contribute to the sustainable integration of digital tools and technologies in teaching and learning. It is projected that the Center will be complete by end of December 2022.
The Resident Experts in Digital Education Training
In October 2021, Moi University hosted a one-week long face-to-face training for Experts in Digital Education where the three (3) resident experts from each of the following Universities: Moi University (Kenya), Kabale University (Uganda), University of Abuja (Nigeria), and Nelson Mandela – African Institution of Science & Technology (Tanzania) participated. The course instructors from EPFL were Lisa Myers and Javier Tejera. To view more photos of the training conducted in Eldoret, click here.
The three (3) resident experts in Moi University have also undergone the Digital Education Masterclass training to be Trainer of Trainers (ToT) and the have gone ahead to train other faculty members at Moi University in pedagogical aspects of digital education. The Digital education masterclass is a result of a partnership between UM6P and EPFL through the joint initiative Excellence in Africa.
The Technicians Training
In June - July 2022, two (2) technicians from Moi University joined the other technicians from the other partner universities for a 2-weeks training in UM6P (Morocco). The technicians were trained in “Establishment and Operation of a Multimedia Studio for Production of Digital Educational Resources”.
The training was conducted by the Digital Learning Lab (DLL) of UM6P in collaboration with EPFL. For more photos of the technical training, click here.
The Duration of the Project
The C-CoDE project is expected to run for a period of two (2) years (between June 2021 – June 2023).